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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

To be sure I'm not sure what it means...

I know someone will clear the air regarding the term "jigaboo". There are so many terms people take offense to these days - even niggardly which isn't even a racial term just a word with an unfortunate prefix. Unfortunately an anchor in Cleveland said it on TV and is now subject to a storm on social media.

To be sure I have no plans on using it and you know on second thought if you watch School Daze that terms was thrown around. Of course how it relates to Lady Gaga I haven't a clue...

I apologize in advance for sharing the urban dictionary as a reference it seems more concise than what I had found via Google with a dry definition "a black person". It just has to be deeper than that.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Do women make better US Senators?

I missed this. So MSNBC's Rachel Maddow believes that women make better senators. Or women govern the best. I wonder what evidence she uses to support this.

I'm not taking a position one way or another but surely it seems to make a sweeping assertion that couldn't be backed up...or could it?

The argument made by this article at twitchy is that well Maddow may have her own preference for what makes a better woman Senator. Must she only be a liberal/progressive Democrat? Instapundit and others seemed to want to prove that point...Sarah Palin for US Senate anyone?

I vaguely recall during her doomed presidential campaign over a decade ago our former Senator Carol Moseley Braun attempted to make a point that a woman would make a better president. Although in my humble opinion I'm not so sure that she would've made a good example of that.

What do you think?

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Is a college degree truly necessary?

Glenn Reynolds who writes the Instapundit blog did a column about Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker...

Yeah yeah I know he's a Republican who cares...

Anyway if we know nothing about the backgrounds of US Governor's one thing Reynolds brought out was that Gov. Walker never finished college. In my mind this would be unfathomable because I would think anyone seeking high office had as least a bachelor's degree.

So Reynolds surmises that well if Walker chooses to run for President and wins he could break the idea that you need an "Ivy League" education to run for our nation's highest office. The main idea however is that bachelor's degree is supposed to be a "leg up".

To which I've started to come to a few conclusions in recent years. I see that one tag line for the Chicago Public Schools is that all students will be 100% college ready and college bound (found on their FB page). It's a laudable goal, but is it realistic?

I was stuck with this idea that everyone should go to college, but then I realized...should they? Everyone isn't meant for college and that doesn't mean they won't be a state governor, President or even successful in life.

I've started to conclude that college is used as an entitlement now. It's more expected than it was of previous generations to the point where it's a ticket to another high school diploma. At that for another high school diploma many students spend a lot of money or go into debt. Many may choose not to take is seriously and finish but don't do as well for the money they spend.

My point is if a bachelor's is something you're looking to achieve you have to want it. That means you do what you need to do to pay for it in addition to studying not only your field. That also means you have to study a variety of other subjects that have little to do with your field.

It's only YOUR expectation of what you hope to do with a degree. If going to college isn't the path that's for you then hopefully you can find another path that makes you happy. A college degree should never make or break your life or livelihood.

Monday, February 16, 2015

It's President's Day


Little did I know the past week that two days would mark holidays regard our Presidents. Last week the state observed a holiday for Abraham Lincoln which was on his birthday - February 12th. So if you worked for the state of Illinois you have that day off.

Monday is President's Day - a federal holiday - which is for all the Presidents no matter how famous, infamous, or even insignificant.

Then I thought about how at one point the Presidency was of major interest to me. Presidents as we've all learned over the years have an impact on history. Of course some Presidents didn't remain in office to really affect any historic events and in some cases it seems well they didn't have to do anything to have any effect on historic events.

For example the Presidents during the 1850s were elected during an unfortunate period in American history. Either they were ill-equipped to deal with the issue of slavery that threw the nation into a civil war in the 1860s. Or more likely, there was little they could do the calm the nation during the intense debates of those years.

Either way the people who have held the office have been interesting and as we head to the next election in 2016, it would be most interesting to see who will emerge. Our current President Barack Obama certainly came out of nowhere, but who will the torch be passed to in 2017?

The campaign will begin and we'll see another person hope to have a crack to impact history. We can always study the ones who have already been there, but let's look at the ones who want to GET there!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Capitol Fax: Seriously...

Rich Miller shares some tweets from Illinois' newly minted Republican Governor here's the grossest one. By gross I mean just plain odd:

There was one tweet that took a shot at our new Governor for the failure and FDIC takeover of a black owned bank in Chicago:
To which Miller noted: Sorry, man, but that was done in cahoots with President Obama’s “racist” FDIC… 

Heh, what started this off for that post was references to Rauner's plan for state employees. During Quinn's administration state employee unions were very vocal. I'm sure many are looking for the current Governor to go the route of some of his fellow Republican Governors in mainly blue states. Time can tell.

Not sure if you want to read too much into these tweets. Their only point seem to be a cry for attention.

Is blogging dead?

I've been beginning to wonder. Years ago people in the mainstream media were talking about blogs, now it's about YouTube, Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram or even Facebook.

To be sure as much as I've taken to writing 140 characters, nothing will beat good writing. You can't do that in 140 and at that it has to be very interesting.

No one pays attention to a YouTube channel that doesn't have interesting content. I began to realize that there is a science to being a viral YouTube sensation. It's either intentional or unintentional and for the most part something viral just happens can't script it nor plan it.

Although I just recently started a FB account to attach to this blog, there's a lot of FB status I wouldn't want to share and hadn't for a long time. It's also cool to share photo albums and such from FB. But who would want to read a long status.

Remember TL;DR? LOL

Anyway, perhaps it's good that blogging has had it's heyday. This just means that the ones with something to say and hopefully the truly good writers will get the attention it deserves. Everyone else can flood FB, Twitter, Instagram and these other sites that are out there.

Besides all these other social media sites can be utilized effectively especially if you do utilize a blog.

Monday, February 09, 2015

Black History Month 2015

Posted recently at the Shedd School blog that same post had been published here. It still are my thoughts on Black history and how to truly observe it. Although yes I did share the ways I would prefer to teach some aspects of Black history.

Hopefully this is advice considered not by adults, but also children as well. Everyone should know their history whatever that might be -  i.e. American, Black, European, etc.

Monday, February 02, 2015

What if I taught Black history???

Black nationalist flag
Recently I found this article out of Washington, DC, some teachers from a public school had been fired by their principal. The alleged reason was teaching Black history in the context of social science. Allegedly the principal disapproved of teaching Kwanzaa and the late DC Mayor Marion Barry.

I could just talk about this article then I thought about it. What if I - Levois - taught Black history. This is what we will discuss  at the start of Black History Month.

Last year, I wrote about my thoughts on this yearly tradition which will be reposted at my "Shedd School" blog. Some TV stations around the nations will show a young person - who likely is anywhere from a grammar school to high school student - reciting some quick fact about Black history that could be used as a soundbite during commercial breaks. My thought was that Black history is more than this quick 15, 30 second, or one minute soundbite.

My way of teaching the subject of Black history would involve critical thinking. It's something that I've only gotten better with at least by the time I was done at Morehouse. It wasn't entirely something that was ingrained in me in my time as a public school student.

As a sophomore in high school - GO FALCONS - I had taken Black history. For the first time I had been introduced to the Black pledge of allegiance and Kwanzaa. I as a public school student was already aware of this poem which has been referred to as the "Black National Anthem". We sometimes sung it after we sung either "My Country Tis of Thee" or "The Star Spangled Banner".

We had been taught about the idea of conditioning - that is slaves had been conditioned to believe that they were born to be slaves. We had been taught that a Black poet Phyllis Wheatley had been conditioned and we know this through her poetry. We also had substitutes who made it know they were "pro-Black".

We had also been taught about Willie Lynch. Lynch reportedly wrote a letter that spoke of conditioning slaves. Although the authenticity of this letter have been called into question, we still talk about the letter. Even stating that Lynch's prescribed conditioning still have long lasting effects.

Then over the years I started to believe a lot of this is a form of propaganda. That's not to say we should never have learned of this at all. But there is a way of presenting this without making it seems like a fact.

Phyllis Wheatley, Willie Lynch, and others is a way of using Black history to teach critical thinking. I would prefer students learning Black history whether they be Black or whatever to decide for themselves if some subjects regarding Black history is valid or not. Is conditioning of slaves a real concept, for example. This is how I would like to have been able to lead a classroom.

Who knows perhaps one day I made decide to teach and may touch bases with Black history. At that hopefully I would be teaching this with older students who are at least between 12 to 18 who might take well to critical thinking.

In the meanwhile I can only ponder how I could conduct my own lessons in Black history.

Sunday, February 01, 2015

Facebook me!

FB.com
I've been debating whether or not my FB information should be included on this blog. So finally I've decided that FB should be utilized here. So my new account is here.

I shouldn't have waited this long to do it, but here's to a new a start. Feel free to add me if you wish, but hopefully there will be no trolling.

There is a badge in the sidebar.

EDIT: There's also the email address itsmymind @ gmail.com or you can also click Facebook Me!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Would you believe it's been 10 years???

I started this blog in 2005 and only just now thought to do a post about it. Started this blog while I was still at Morehouse and a lot has changed from that time.

During this period of time blogs were starting to get a lot of attention and now it's social media. Facebook was starting to get off the ground during this time and  YouTube as well. And now we have other social media sites to keep our attention.

The iPhone hadn't been created yet in 2005 and smartphones in general were pricey. Well cell phones in general were pricey although by 2005 prices had started to go down. At that point I had a phone that didn't cost me anything but a phone contract. Also the phone of choice back then was a flip phone!

Some my posts during the Morehouse College years - admittedly the longest period of my young life as it took me a while to graduate - involved Morehouse. Then after transitioning from college life the work world although to be honest I haven't found a "Morehouse man job".

Also I've started other blogs - such as The Sixth Ward - and it has taken off more than I could've ever imagined. There are still other blogs that I post to from time to time but they're still as important as this blog and The Sixth Ward. While I had been invited to post to other blogs such as Rich Miller's Illinoize or Gaper's Block this is the blog that started it all!

I'm sure I missed plenty of things, but hey it is what it is. Hopefully I can work on 10 more years.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Sometimes I miss things like this on Twitter

So our new Governor hasn't been in office for almost two weeks and he's showing us his road trip to Springfield. Of course he made some stops along the way especially seeing some state troopers and a quick stop for his dogs and some Micky D's. And you would think he's driving in a fancy luxury car right?

Well this tweet is from one of the governor's staffers.
The last time I saw that vehicle it took him to the south side to make a deposit at a neighborhood credit union. So if it got to the south side safe and sound as a candidate for Governor, it could get him to Springfield our state capitol.

At least we can say this for Gov. Rauner, at least he forgo a trip on a state aircraft as one of his predecessors Rod Blagojevich had. And for good measure he came home to the executive mansion in Sprinfield as well.
Here's hoping this is what we can look forward to the next four years. A traveling Governor showing us around the great state we call Chicago...I mean Illinois.

BTW, hopefully I can catch this stuff on Twitter when I see it. :P